Leaders aren’t born — they’re made. If you’re fortunate enough to have team members with leadership potential in your midst, you’ll want to keep them around and help them grow. Retaining the top talent in your organization can be difficult if you don’t provide the proper incentives — your best employees won’t stick around if they don’t feel like they can grow with your company. That said, employee promotion comes with its own set of challenges. Leadership skills don’t necessarily equate to preparedness for a specific role, after all. And you don’t want to overlook your other employees when serving promotions, either.
With all that in mind, here’s some advice for properly promoting employees with leadership qualities in your organization.
How to Promote Good Employees
Hone Employees’ Existing Leadership Skills
Raw talent can open many doors, but even your most talented hires need ongoing training and education to refine their skills. Providing leadership training for employees is a great way to both create new leaders and strengthen existing leaders in your company. With access to the proper resources, employees can transform their abilities into reinforced skillsets that can be applied in a variety of contexts. Ultimately, this scaffolding will help prepare your leaders for different types of promotions.
Provide New Challenges and Opportunities
This tip takes more of a real-world approach. Training is undoubtedly useful for leadership development, but there’s no replacement for actual on-the-job experience. If you want to put your people to the test, give them opportunities to take on new roles and responsibilities, even if only for short periods of time. These trial runs will help those with leadership potential discover their interests, strengths, and weaknesses while also providing you with important information on their candidacy for specific promotions.
Understand an Employee’s Personal Goals and Desires
Communication plays a vital role in proper promotion protocol. For starters, not every employee will want a promotion at a given time, and springing such an opportunity on them when they’re not ready can lead to several issues. Moreover, some emerging leaders will be more inclined to take on certain roles as a way of reaching their personal goals and/or boosting their careers. In every single scenario, the more you know about an employee’s unique goals and desires, the easier it will be to offer the appropriate promotions. So, have regular one-on-one meetings with employees, asking them about what they enjoy doing, how they wish to grow in your organization, what they wish were different, etc.
Determine the Type of Promotion Best Suited for the Situation
Not all promotions are created equal. Dry promotions refer to title upgrades without a pay increase, up-gradations feature increased pay but don’t change anything about an employee’s responsibilities, accretion of duties derive from an increase in workload and come with a relative pay bump — the list goes on. There are also a variety of reasons/methods for promoting an individual, such as merit, seniority, necessity (ad hoc), or some combination of these. The exact type of promotion you dish out must correspond with your company’s needs and goals. You must also keep in mind that some leaders will be more or less receptive to certain types of promotions.
Stay Alert to Potential Openings
Succession planning is all about filling the right roles with the right people, so there’s always a pipeline of strong leadership even when current leaders retire, leave, or can no longer work. The more time you have to plan for such a transition, the better. As such, it’s important to constantly be on the lookout for up-and-coming leaders in your organization that might be able to step into a higher position when the time comes. Once you have some candidates in mind, provide them with the tools, education, and experience necessary for them to take on these new roles in the future.
Make It Known
Lastly, don’t leave your employees in the dark when promotions are available. Even if you have a select group of employees in mind for a given promotion, offering it to anyone interested creates more competition. In this way, creating promotion opportunities serves as a useful employee management tool. It’s also fairer to your current employees to offer the position internally before looking outside the business.
Promoting Better Leadership in Your Workplace
Leaders at every stage need experience, direction, and opportunities to achieve their full potential. Providing these things for your employees will allow you to more easily deliver the right promotions to the right people.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.
Strong leadership is necessary for ensuring a company’s ongoing success. Of course, even the best leaders have room for improvement. In any venture, the only way to truly improve, however, is to keep track of your progress and adjust accordingly. Whether you’re trying to cultivate better leaders in your organization or improve your own leadership abilities, here’s how to measure developmental leadership progress.How to Measure Development Progress
How to Measure Development Progress
Identify and Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
You can’t measure leadership progression without knowing what to measure in the first place. This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) come into play. As their name suggests, KPIs are specific metrics that can be quantified in some way to track progress. In regards to employee management, for instance, KPIs might include things like revenue earned per hour, absenteeism rate, net promoter score (NPS), etc. To measure development leadership progress, KPIs should focus on factors like communication, employee satisfaction, team retention, and so on. If you’re attempting to track your own leadership progress, you might come up with more personalized KPIs. Equally as important as coming up with these KPIs is knowing how to review performance management data — if you can’t quantify or analyze performance over time, you’ll struggle to realize progress in yourself and others.
Set Specific Goals
Another way to measure personal and organizational leadership development is to set clear-cut, short-term goals. Goals are similar to KPIs in that they reveal a target to aim for, but they’re only aimed for one time (i.e., clearing a finish line) as opposed to over and over again (i.e., clicking a stopwatch to track how long it takes each time). Setting and overcoming well-defined goals allows you to track leadership progress in a more tangible way — the only way to achieve certain goals is to level up your leadership skills, after all. Plus, whether or not a particular goal is met, there’s always a lesson to learn that can further fuel leadership growth.
Conduct Surveys Periodically
Even subjective feedback can be translated into quantitative data that can be used to track leadership progress. Organizational surveys can be useful tools in this regard, giving employees at all levels the opportunity to reflect on their own place in the company, their feelings toward policies and leaders, and more. Not only do these surveys help adjust and enhance company culture — they also reveal areas of improvement for leaders on both the individual and group levels. It’s important to disseminate these surveys on a routine basis and keep them somewhat consistent (i.e., similar questions and rubrics) to get a clearer picture of development leadership progress, employee satisfaction, and more.
Use Modern Tools
If the methods mentioned above seem difficult to manage, don’t fret — modern programs like the Accelerate leadership development program by Leadership Resources remove much of the guesswork and streamline this measurement process with various resources. The Accelerate software allows you to watch leadership development in action, tracking various KPIs so you can see the long-term impact on your organization. This program also allows leaders to develop together, enabling participants to learn from one another and establish greater accountability. Every leader in the program also benefits from monthly one-on-one coaching with leadership professionals who know exactly what to look for when measuring and maintaining progress.
Accountability Is the Key to Measuring and Furthering Leadership Growth. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.
In our previous article, “How an Operating System Drives Profit & Growth,” we defined what a business operating system is and how the right one can bring your organization to new heights. To sum up, a company operating system is a sturdy yet flexible strategic guidebook for the company’s internal processes. Think of it as the core from which all planning within an organization stem. With the right operating system in place, employees and leaders can collaborate with more clarity and purpose at every stage of the game, resulting in leadership development, long-term growth, and increased profits.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all operating system. Every business has a unique company culture and specific needs, after all. So, while there are many ways to approach your company’s operating system, the best approach synthesizes the best parts from multiple methodologies. Let’s explore why this fusion of various operating system components results in the best outcomes for entrepreneurs and businesses.
Why You Should Integrate Operating System Methodologies
Bridge the Gaps Between Different Ideologies
Among the various systems, tools, and philosophies that help a business thrive, each one comes with its share of holes. If you think of each of these different methodologies as a piece of swiss cheese, you can cover these various holes by layering different pieces with differently placed holes on top of one another, creating an impenetrable system that bridges all possible gaps. In other words, one company’s operating system might not work for another company, but the system may feature certain advantageous aspects worth keeping — and the same goes for yet another operating system, and so on. By leveraging the strengths of each of these systems, you can achieve the best of all worlds for your unique operating system. You’ll end up with a customized and optimized playbook for everything from employee management to succession planning to conflict resolution and more.
Set Yourself up for Success
Your operating system isn’t just about your organization — it’s also about your people (the two go hand in hand, of course). Ultimately, your operating system should enable the talent that already exists within your team and place people in the right positions so everyone in your organization shares the game goals. Cultivating this continuous leadership growth is only possible if you take an integrated approach to crafting your operating system. By addressing your company’s pain points and unique concerns, you can begin to build a systematic process for navigating all hurdles standing in the way of personal and organizational growth. For starters, you’ll want to define what “success” means for your entire company and its team members. From there, you can establish consistent accountability, clear goals, and deliver ongoing coaching to fortify these elements, all at the proper pace for you.
The Benefits of an Optimized Operation System
Before you begin crafting your own company operating system, it helps to know the many advantages that can come from this optimization. These benefits include:
- Scaling up your leadership and profit margins by getting and keeping the right people in the right seats
- Optimizing data to hone your business game and make intuitive decisions that benefit your brand and bottom line
- Managing cash with more clarity and control
- Meeting and exceeding goals by making the most of tailor-made tools tuned for your organization’s unique needs and ambitions
You might already know which factors drive your company’s growth, but receiving outside help from a provider like Leadership Resources allows you to illuminate where your energy and effort are consistently going. We help companies like yours problem-solve and see trends over time to make a real difference. We meet you where you are and help you achieve your vision, handpicking the best components from a wide array of methodologies to support and enhance our clients in their ability to achieve their vision.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most!Read More
The history of the American workplace is complex but largely defined by a push toward better conditions, increased benefits, fairer wages, and more diverse and inclusive environments. Indeed, diversity education entered the U.S. workplace in the 1960s alongside the burgeoning civil rights movement, gradually developing into more rigorous training programs in the ‘80s and ‘90s. While these early days of diversity training primarily focused on issues of race, these programs began to expand to consider other identities such as gender, sexual orientation, ethnic/religious background, class, and more. Today, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives have become three pillars of the modern American workplace, though some companies have done a better job incorporating DEI than others.
More than a buzzword, DEI has proven to yield practical benefits to businesses that prioritize these matters; a 2018 whitepaper by Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP) entitled “Diversity & Inclusion in Corporate Social Engagement” shows that these organizations have been able to capture new markets with a success rate that’s about 70% higher than their competitors. Of course, these advantages don’t appear out of thin air. Providing your business with the benefits that DEI has to offer begins with committed, competent leadership. While we’ve discussed the importance of leadership training many times before, let’s now go over how diversity, inclusion, and equity should inform leaders in your organization and how DEI can change leadership behaviors for the better.
How to Lead a Diverse Team
Recognizing the Advantages of Diverse Viewpoints
A true commitment to diversity in your workplace is about gathering a multitude of perspectives, especially from individuals and groups that haven’t been given as much of a chance in the past. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t continue hiring the most qualified people, but rather broaden your scope and seek those who can bring new ideas and strengths to the table. Empathy is the bridge between diversity and inclusion. Leaders who actively cultivate diversity quickly realize how much doing so benefits their organization as a whole.
Developing intercultural competence contributes to a richer company culture by inviting employees and leaders to complement the workplace culture rather than assimilate to an existing, rigid one. In this way, employees and leaders are constantly learning new things and challenging themselves. In other words, diversity isn’t about ticking a box or paying lip service to “tolerance” — it’s about stimulating a more modern, creative, and competitive work environment.
Approaching Employees with Empathy
The term “equity” has many definitions and is often conflated with the related but distinct term “equality.” In this context, equity is about acknowledging that individuals can come from very different places in terms of education level, class, cultural background, lived experiences, and so on. In other words, we’re not all starting on a level playing field. While these differences inform our character and ambitions, business leaders should do their best to recognize the obstacles and opportunities that derive from these deviations with the goal of establishing a more equitable work environment.
Empathy is at the root of this leadership growth. The essence of empathy, in the context of equity, is the practice of The Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would want done to them.” Emotionally intelligent leaders are willing and able to identify the unique struggles of their employees by maintaining strong lines of communication. In doing so, you can provide the right opportunities for the right people, lifting everyone up to their highest potential and ultimately achieving greater equity across the board.
Empowering Employee Participation Across the Board
An inclusive workplace is one where every employee feels comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment for punishment (so long as individuals aren’t intentionally saying or doing things that harm others). Leaders are largely responsible for cultivating this type of environment by actively engaging with every team member, asking questions, promoting openness, mitigating conflict and bias, and so on. This approach to team management will result in greater participation, which in turn leads to innovation (much in the same way that diversity does).
DEI Makes for More Adaptive, Effective Leaders
The workplace is always evolving, and leaders must evolve with it. As diversity, equity, and inclusion practices become more prominent and beneficial, they must become more of a focus in leadership development programs. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
For more than 20 years, Leadership Resources has provided strategic advisory services for growth-focused organizations throughout the United States. We are proud to have assisted hundreds of organizations in planning for, and meeting their strategic objectives. Throughout the years, we have used many methodologies, strategies, and tools to customize our approach to what works best for our clients. We are now centralizing these services under the name Accelerate OS.
What to Know About Accelerate OS
The Power of Accelerate OS
Our executive coaching and consulting services focus on aligning leaders and organizations around a clear, central vision. When leaders within your company become aligned around vision and goals, they’re able to guide their teams at every step of the strategic planning and performance management process.
Sometimes, strategic coaching programs can be too rigid and lock a company into a particular set of rhythms, tools, and methodologies — even if they aren’t right for a company’s needs. Accelerate OS is different. It draws from the best of the best and is customized for each company’s growth path and goals.
At Leadership Resources, our strategies have helped the growth and development in leadership of countless companies by:
- Clarifying a shared vision
- Defining clear direction and priorities
- Establishing SMART, FAST goals
- Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Crafting success-bound strategic action plans
- …and more
Additionally, Leadership Resources has partnered with Pinnacle Business Guides (PBG). This partnership provides expanded opportunities for our clients through increased options of tools and a unique approach to processes, while providing our team with expanded resources, experience, and knowledge. This relationship only bolsters Leadership Resources’ custom client approach.
The Team Behind Accelerate OS
Dan Sedor leads our team of Strategic Growth Advisors at Leadership Resources. As Leadership Resources’ Co-founder and Director of Strategic Services, Dan has executed thousands of session days, including more than 500 EOS sessions with clients.
Sedor became a Certified EOS Implementer just five years ago, meaning he’s held an average of 100 sessions per year since 2016 with this specific distinction. While he is no longer affiliated with EOS Worldwide, he brings this past experience to every client he serves. Over the past two decades, he’s facilitated strategic planning meetings for over 100 organizations across many industries, including start-ups, mid-sized companies, and large enterprises.
In addition to Sedor, Andy Grant, Brian Olson, and Alex Garcia have led hundreds of Accelerate OS sessions themselves. They are firm believers that strategic guidance has to be authentic to the client’s current status and desired staff leadership development.
This diverse team’s work with clients of all sizes and industries provides future clients with a wealth of experience from which to pull.
Optimize Your Organization’s Operating System
The strategic consulting team at Leadership Resources believes that improving your business’ operating system or “OS” allows your organization to capitalize on its potential. Every Accelerate OS engagement is tailor-made for each client to optimize their OS by providing the tools to facilitate faster and more informed decision-making. A more efficient OS also improves teamwork, accountability, culture, and maximizes productivity.
In addition, with the help of our leadership development offering, called Accelerate OS, you can develop emerging leaders, create more positive outlooks, and even work on your own succession strategy.
Our Goal Is to Help Thousands of Clients
Strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all. We’ll help you tailor your strategic plan to your company for long-term success. By taking advantage of our strategic planning services, you can expect greater clarity of your company’s vision and purpose, as well as a detailed focus on realistic goals and plans of action. All of this should result in measurable growth in profit, productivity, and more.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. As our strategic growth advisors continue to serve successful businesses in a manner that makes them even more successful, we also continue to grow and evolve our custom approach for the betterment of our clients. Here’s to delivering the next thousand productive, “needle-moving” sessions with our clients. Contact us here to learn more about Accelerate OS, what we do, do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
Wherever people consistently gather in groups (big or small), a culture is bound to arise. So, while the word “culture” has become a buzzword in the professional sphere, it’s merely a natural consequence of company life. Of course, company cultures can become stagnant, exclusionary, and downright toxic if not properly directed and cultivated at every level — leaders must set positive examples of what the culture should look like, employees should do their best to uphold these values, and new hires should be screened to ensure proper cultural fit. Indeed, finding candidates who fit your existing culture makes team and employee management easier and more productive. The question is: how should your business go about locating these candidates?
Let’s outline some key steps to finding employees that will not only fit your current culture but potentially enhance it as well.
How to Hire a Good Culture Fit
Establish Core Values
Finding the right employees for your company’s culture is an uphill battle (if not an impossibility) if said culture isn’t clearly defined from the outset. You must be able to identify your organization’s values and embed them in your operations. Some businesses might cultivate a performance culture wherein productivity reigns supreme on the list of priorities; others might prioritize collaboration; some companies gather around a singular purpose (i.e., sustainability); the list goes on. A good test of your culture’s clarity and strength is to try and define it in a simple sentence — essentially a concise mission statement.
Put Your Culture Front and Center
Once your company culture is clearly defined, it’s imperative to get the message out there. In doing so, potential candidates with the right cultural fit will gravitate toward your organization. Your marketing materials (especially those for recruitment) should strongly focus on your business’ values. Make sure your website is outfitted with an “About” page and “Careers” section that both speak to your company’s values. Consider receiving employee testimonials and posting positive images on social media pages as well. Those seeking employment will appreciate getting a glimpse into what it might be like to work for your company directly from current employees.
Keep Tabs on Your Workplace Culture
Company cultures should be strong but not so rigid that they snap under pressure. Simply put, cultures evolve over time, and it’s crucial to remain open to changes that will ultimately benefit your organization and everyone in it. If something about your current culture is causing problems for some (or most) of your people, you must get to the bottom of it quickly. Distributing a monthly, quarterly, or annual company culture survey will give you key insights into what is and isn’t working, and which values require more attention or specific adjustment. Taking the time to constantly check and improve your company culture will allow you to keep up with the competition and deliver the most accurate representation of your organization to potential candidates.
Incorporate Your Values in the Interview Process
If you’re zeroing in on a candidate but still aren’t sure about their cultural fit, the best thing to do is simply ask them the right questions during their interview. It’s often best to start with some more casual questions regarding what they do outside of work, such as:
- What are your hobbies?
- What’s your average weekend like?
- What do you value in yourself and others?
- What’s your most negative personality trait?
From there, ask questions more directly related to company/employee culture, like:
- Do you enjoy working with others?
- In what type of setting do you accomplish your best work?
- Do you see yourself working here for a long time?
- Can you give an example of a moment in which you demonstrated one of the company’s values?
- What are your thoughts about the company’s stated values and why?
Questions such as these benefit both you and the candidate as you inch closer to the hiring decision — they will gain an even deeper understanding of what it means to work for your company, and you will better understand how well they might fit into your culture.
Capturing the Right Candidates for Your Culture
Your company’s values and culture serve as the foundation for everything you do and your overall success. When seeking the most qualified candidates for your company, remember to keep culture in the equation — skills and knowledge matter greatly, but cultural fit is the glue that keeps your organization together.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
There is no single “right way” to operate a business or poise it for long-term success. Every enterprise is unique, after all. Still, specific approaches transcend these differences, offering near-universal benefits to businesses of all sizes and types. Strategic leadership refers to one such approach to business management that can yield several long-term benefits when properly implemented and executed. Of course, it’s worth noting that the upsides of the strategic leadership approach are contrasted with some downsides, too.
Let’s Look at the Pros and Cons of Strategic Leadership
What Is Strategic Leadership?
Strategic leadership can be defined as a leadership philosophy that prioritizes the communication and execution of a particular vision via tangible, streamlined actions and processes. In other words, the strategic leader not only generates and clarifies a business’ vision, but also adeptly leads its team toward realizing said vision one step at a time — the best strategic leaders can simultaneously keep the big picture and key details in mind, which is precisely what allows their business to achieve its short- and long-term goals. The leadership skills required for this brand of leadership include strong communication, a focus on culture, judicious deployment of power, self-control, compassion, consistency, loyalty, and strong motivation.
The Plus Sides of Strategic Leadership
There are several potential benefits that come with the strategic leadership approach. First, strategic leaders are able to unite teams, generate buy-in, and keep everyone on the same page, working toward a collective goal. In this way, the strategic leader keeps departments from losing focus or losing touch with one other, which makes it that much easier to move the business forward. Next, strategic leadership establishes a framework for practical decision-making. When goals are clearly communicated, everyone can better contribute to the collective vision. Strategic leadership also facilitates impartial, long-term thinking, filtering daily decisions through the lens of the broader vision. And lastly, the best strategic leaders cultivate commitment among their teams by acting as models for proficiency and practicality. For all these reasons, businesses should consider investing in strategic leadership training for their top talent.
The Setbacks of Strategic Leadership
A strategic leadership approach isn’t a flawless one, of course. As with all long-term processes and goals, there’s no way to know for certain what the business, industry, or economy will look like in the next year, three years, five years, decade, and so on. In this way, long-term strategic thinking can become a significant expense and source of leadership stress, especially if a seemingly solid plan becomes irrelevant in the face of unpredictable changes. This is why strategic leaders must be as flexible as they are visionary. In a similar vein, strategic leaders can get lost in the bigger picture and start neglecting the business’ present issues and needs, which can cause budding problems to go unresolved and eventually interfere with the very vision in question. Ultimately, this lack of attention to the present moment can halt company growth and even result in long-term harm. Strategic leaders that either take too many risks or are too risk-averse can cause the company to miss out on key opportunities.
Developing a Winning Strategy for Your Leaders
Strategic leadership is not inherently good or bad, but rather a tool that can raise a business up for years to come or sink the ship for lack of seeing the iceberg straight ahead, so to speak. Every enterprise must determine its own balanced approach to strategic leadership development so it’s able to safely navigate the current moment while aiming for the bigger goal in the distance.At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
The role of “leader” consists of many parts. Not only must leaders excel in their field and manage multiple tasks at once, but they must also unify their teams around a shared vision in order to propel the enterprise forward. This coalescence can only occur with strong communication. That said, leadership communication skills don’t come easily to everyone, and even those who have a knack for it can always seek improvement. Whether you’re struggling to hold your people together or want to level up your emotional intelligence, here’s how an established leader such as yourself can become a better communicator.
How to Best Communicate With Your Team
Make a Routine of Checking in With Employees
For better or worse, humans are creatures of habit. We can use this feature to our advantage by creating positive routines and adjusting them when necessary. When it comes to bolstering your communication skills as a leader, hosting regular check-ins with individuals and teams is a useful habit to establish. These meetings can vary in frequency and length, so long as it becomes an expected event. Not only will these regular check-ups aid in employee management, but they’ll also make your people feel more comfortable opening up to you. The more you listen to your employees’ ideas and concerns, the easier it will be to discuss these matters honestly with each and every one of them.
Cater Your Message Accordingly
Competent leadership communication is flexible, adapting to the audience in question. By getting to know your people better (as mentioned above), you can figure out the right way to reach them. Put simply, you always want to meet your audience where they are. Otherwise, you risk alienating (or even offending) them. Crafting your communication style carefully is an exercise in empathy — plus, it’s much more effective.
Simplify Complex Ideas
Clarity is key in communication. After all, you can’t get a message across to anyone if they can’t make heads or tails of what you’re saying. In many ways, the biggest hurdle of leadership communication is taking complex ideas and reducing them in such a way that everyone can understand and care about them without sacrificing anything vital. As an expert, you might intrinsically know what a certain data set is saying or how a certain process works, but there’s no guarantee that your employees will share your comprehension. To become a more effective leader and communicator, focus on what’s relevant to your people and build from there; getting into the weeds can wait until you’ve gotten your team on the same page.
Mind Your Body Language
Communication is about more than the words coming from your mouth; it’s also about how you’re delivering the message. Humans are designed to read body language. Indeed, your body language can send a stronger message than your words in some cases. Open arms and smiles tend to be infectious and welcoming, while folded arms and frowns can dampen morale. Ultimately, you want your movements to match and/or elevate what you’re trying to convey (this comes naturally to some but not to everyone). If you’re having a hard time getting your physicality to fit your message, partaking in executive communication coaching courses focused on body language can be a major help.
Ask Your Teams for Feedback
No matter how hard you work on improving your communication skills, you won’t know how well you’re doing unless you receive honest feedback from your people. Asking your employees for their thoughts on your performance is a great way to build trust and cultivate a more transparent company culture. Moreover, taking this feedback to heart will help you grow as a leader and communicator, so long as you make adjustments based on responses you receive.
Establishing Stronger Communication
Even the most seasoned leaders have room to grow. Sharpening your communication skills will only improve your culture and allow your company to reach new heights.At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
Generational gaps are inevitable in businesses that stick around long enough. These age-related rifts can be both beneficial and detrimental. On the one hand, people who grew up in different eras will have unique perspectives on current dilemmas, which can be synthesized into optimal solutions. Unfortunately, these varying perspectives can also create roadblocks, conflicts, and even feelings of resentment — a younger employee might feel like their ideas aren’t being taken seriously, while an older employee might feel undermined by an up and coming workforce that deems their ideas antiquated.
In many instances, leaders within a company tend to have more experience under their belts, which means they’re responsible for overseeing several employees who are younger than them. If such a leader isn’t tactful in their approach to employee management, they can end up pushing this younger generation away. This is a lose-lose situation, as both parties stand to miss out on key insights provided by the other. With that in mind, here are some ways a leader can properly influence a younger generation without judgment or major conflict.
How to Influence Younger Employees
Listen to Your Employees
We often think of a leader’s role as merely giving orders and overseeing projects. While delegation and oversight are key components of leadership, nothing is more important than communication. Leaders should listen just as much as they speak (if not more). Indeed, if you want to steer your younger employees in a positive direction, you must let go of your ego and truly take their ideas into account. You might have more experience, but this doesn’t mean you have all the answers. And if you dismiss your employees, they’ll begin to dismiss you as well. Communication is a two-way street, and if you want your wisdom to reach your younger employees, you must open yourself to their wisdom, too.
Appreciate and Utilize the Younger Generation’s Strengths
As you learn from the younger generation, you’ll quickly figure out that they’re adept at certain things you might not be, such as social media usage, coding, multitasking, etc. Rather than balk at these skills or deem them unimportant, use them to your company’s advantage. Allowing your people to play to their strengths will boost morale and benefit your business in multiple ways. You can then insert your expertise where it counts most.
Understand What Younger Workers Care About and Open Yourself to Change
One of the negative stereotypes younger workers often place on their older counterparts is that they’re stuck in the past and unwilling to adjust their point of view or methodology. Some leaders certainly fall into this category, and it’s natural to resist change no matter our age. If your goal is to reach your younger employees in a meaningful way, however, you must make an effort to understand their view of the workplace and adapt accordingly. Things were undoubtedly different when you were their age, after all. Today, most young people don’t want their work to be their entire life. This isn’t to say that younger people aren’t able or willing to work hard, but rather that they seek a healthy work/life balance. As such, millennials value companies that offer flexible scheduling, remote work options, an easygoing company culture, and so on. Whether or not you share these opinions, cultivating a workplace with more modern appeal will allow you to hire and retain top talent and create a stronger impression on your people.
Establish Common Values
Generational gaps are primarily fueled by perceived differences in values. When you dig a bit deeper, though, it often becomes clear that one generation shares most of the foundational values of the other. People of different eras might have different conceptions of what these values mean or look like, but just about everyone agrees that responsibility, respect, integrity, kindness, family, etc., are fundamental across the board. Simply discussing these values can bring people of all backgrounds together. You might be surprised at how much common ground there is between you and younger generations.
Cultivate Leadership Growth
Time doesn’t stop for anyone, and a new generation will always be there to take the place of the previous one. This can be difficult to accept, but coming to grips with this reality is key for proper succession planning. Simply put, if you want your company to have a lasting legacy, you need to cultivate new leaders and prepare them for more significant roles. In this way, investing in ongoing leadership development for the younger generation is essential to ensuring your business’ ongoing success. Additionally, investing in your people is a display of respect and encouragement. People of all generations like to learn and be recognized for their accomplishments.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
The most successful businesses are always looking towards the future while focusing on the present. Indeed, your short-term goals and day-to-day actions should contribute to the bigger picture. The continuous development of your employees, then, should be a top priority. Spending time and resources on your people’s growth is an investment in your enterprise’s prosperity. Let’s dive deeper into why proper employee and leadership development leads to long-term success for both your business and your employees.
The Benefits of Employee Development
Some people truly enjoy their work, but you can’t (nor should you) expect all of your employees to commit their whole selves to your business. That said, you also don’t want your people to feel disconnected from or disinterested in your operations and vision. Ideally, your employees will feel like they have a stake in what goes on, that their contributions matter, and that a win for the company translates to a win for the team. Focusing heavily on performance management and employee development is one way to increase engagement. Recognizing your employees’ accomplishments and providing them with opportunities to grow with the organization cultivates investment — when your people feel like they can expand their skills, influence the company, and earn more, they will become more engaged in every aspect of their work and your organization will thrive as a result.
Every company requires fresh and diverse points of view to constantly adapt and improve. If your employees lack avenues for leadership growth, however, the old guard of leadership will eventually exhaust its creative capabilities, and the business will become stagnant. The best way to innovate in your industry is to build up young and budding employees, allowing them to take on new roles and truly listening to their unique perspectives. Of course, your people must feel confident in bringing new ideas to the table — this confidence stems directly from long-term employee development.
Finding promising candidates for your organization is a challenge all its own; retaining these quality hires is in some ways even more difficult, especially in highly competitive markets. In our previous article, “How Long-Term Leadership Development Helps You Keep Your Best Talent,” we broke down the ways in which investing in your employees incentivizes them to stick with your company and improve your company culture in the long run. Indeed, businesses that regularly give their employees new opportunities and recognize their strengths have far stronger retention rates than those that keep their people in their lanes. Not only does proper employee development help you retain top talent — it also helps you attract other valuable candidates. When a potential hire is made aware of the growth opportunities your organization offers, they’re more likely to want to become a part of such a culture.
Businesses that outlive their founders and make a mark on the community keep succession planning in mind at all times. Simply put, if you want your company to thrive for generations, you must always be on the lookout for employees with the potential to lead it into the future. The best way to ensure a strong transition of leadership from old to new is to constantly cultivate fresh leadership in your organization — the more leaders you have, the easier it will be to fulfill vacant roles and create new ones. In this way, proper employee management and development will help to secure your company’s legacy. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.Read More
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